Haddock51

Lego Train 9V Extreme - ready!

Recommended Posts

Not really, not with this complexity. 4 pages of dense information is simply too much.

But maybe we can get closer to the mysterious behavior: Could you draw up a simplified Trackdesigner layout highlighting the problem? And the secondly: How are your power feeds wired to the power source(s) within this simplified scheme? There are certainly not as many feeds as there are sources (i.e., the 9V train speed regulators) so the feeds are probably bunched up and are connected to one source. Both wires? And: Do the switches you used interrupt both, the ground and +9V line? Or just one? A schematic would surely help.

Best
Thorsten    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Toastie said:

Not really, not with this complexity. 4 pages of dense information is simply too much.

But maybe we can get closer to the mysterious behavior: Could you draw up a simplified Trackdesigner layout highlighting the problem? And the secondly: How are your power feeds wired to the power source(s) within this simplified scheme? There are certainly not as many feeds as there are sources (i.e., the 9V train speed regulators) so the feeds are probably bunched up and are connected to one source. Both wires? And: Do the switches you used interrupt both, the ground and +9V line? Or just one? A schematic would surely help.

Best
Thorsten    

Actually, I have the same problem with the two yards on level 85. These power feeds can not be removed!

Let me explain in detail with the help of this picture and the schemes below:

The picture shows speed regulator D, a switch connected to speed regulator D and the switch box.

The switch connected to regulator D is in position "Yard" which means that all power feeds operated by speed regulator D on the main line (level 50, parts of level 85 and ramps between level 50 and 85) are inactive.

The only active power feed with this configuration is power feed T1 on the left ramp between level 50 and 85. The basic idea behind this configuration is to move trains from yard A resp. yard B smoothly to alt. off the main line without other trains moving at the same time.

 

27175728959_8f2629ee0a_c.jpg

 

And now the cases:

Case 1:  Operate train on yard A:

Point configuration:  Halfcurve (HC) 1: left, HC 2: right

Power feed configuration: yard A: on, yard B: off

Result: only train on yard A is moving

Case 2A:  Operate train on yard B:

Point configuration: HC 1: left, HC 2: straight

Power feed configuration: yard A: off, yard B: on

Result:  both trains are moving!

Case 2B:  Operate train on yard B:

Point configuration:  HC 1: left, HC 2: right

Power feed configuration:  yard A: off, yard B: on

Result:  only train on yard B be is moving with HC 2 in "wrong" position!

 

38236568844_6ec0e3186f_c.jpg

 

The "minus" wires for power feeds on yard A and yard B are directly wired to  block DD "minus" in the cable terminal." Plus" wires are connected to switches "Yd A" resp. "Yd B" on the switch box and then to block DD "plus" (operated by speed regulator D with switch in position "Yard") in the cable terminal. (see picture of cable terminal on the first page of this thread).

The only common denominator for all three problems (yards on level 50, level 85 and the siding on level 175) are additional power feeds that are/were properly mounted and wired. It seems like these additional power feeds "disturbe(d)" neighbouring points. In the cases described above, some kind of interference seems to have affected HC 2.

 

Finally, this is the scheme with siding on level 175 and power feed S 175 (which has been removed) and standard points on each end of the siding.

This section is operated with speed regulator C. Wiring of S 175 the same way as described above.

This siding and the neighbouring main line (vertical climb) had the same mysterious problems as described above and before.

 

27178497319_dc53249c46_c.jpg

Edited by Haddock51

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you very much for the additional details, @Haddock51.

I don't want to be a smart megablocks - here are just a few thought on your issues. I am also pretty sure that you have done all the math already. This is just an attempt to shed some light into the mysterious things that happened. Please ignore all that in case you have been there, did that and so on ...

The LEGO points are - as far as I am concerned - weird, but I guess all metal rail systems do behave like that. Figure 1 shows the electrical layout of a 9V LEGO point - as far as I can tell from opening them up to remove the little nasty piece of ABS that makes the points hard to change direction:

lego_switch.jpg

Figure 1: 9V LEGO switch point wiring, straight position. Note a) the permanently powered lines b) in straight the red line is switched, in branch the blue line.

 

Figure 2 shows a simplified section of your layout and illustrates the case 1 scenario, along with the information you gave on the switch box and regulator wiring. (Please excuse my stupid drawings - I am using PowerPoint - this is all I know with regard to drawing stuff electronically). Just in case you have wired the "DD -" line as in the figure (and only then, i.e. blue is wired as shown, i.e. on the "inside" at feed T1, then only the train on yard 1 has power. 

case_1.jpg   

Figure 2: Case 1 - only train in yard A is moving, as it should be. 

 

Figure 3 illustrates your case 2a - both trains are moving although only switch "Yd B" is closed. The thing is (provided wiring is as shown) that yard A gets power through the "DD -" common terminal (blue line) and the permantely powered red line via HC 1 L whereas yard B is powered through the "Yd B" switch and "DD -"

case_2a.jpg

Figure 3: Case 2a - both trains are moving although the "Yd A" is open.

 

Figure 4 illustrates your case 2b. However, this one does not correctly explain the behavior you observed. What should happen is that both trains are moving.

case_2b.jpg

 Figure 4: Case 2b - only yard B is powered although HC 2 is in branch position. Actually both yards should be powered. 

 

I believe you can rather easily take care of these issues (at least for case 2a) by switching both power lines with "2 x on/off" switches "Yd A" and "Yd B". Of course you'd need to do additional wiring ...

 

With regard to 175 level layout - this is a reversing loop, right? The outside power line becomes the inside power line and you may create a short, depending on the S175 feed polarity with respect to further T-type feeds located somewhere else (???).

Finally, things may even become more confusing when changing directions on the regulator. As far as I remember, the dial hardware (the "coded" copper conductors of the dial and the copper conductors on the printed circuit board) of the regulator actually reverses the entire power ("+" becomes "-" and vice versa). In the "stop" position power is completely removed from the outputs (both, "+" and "-"). In this case the common power block changes polarity as well in your setup and depending on the permanently powered lines of the points, this may create further issues.

This is all pure speculation though and as I said, you may have been there already for a long time!

All the best,
Thorsten   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎2017‎-‎12‎-‎10 at 5:04 PM, Toastie said:

Thank you very much for the additional details, @Haddock51.

I don't want to be a smart megablocks - here are just a few thought on your issues. I am also pretty sure that you have done all the math already. This is just an attempt to shed some light into the mysterious things that happened. Please ignore all that in case you have been there, did that and so on ...

The LEGO points are - as far as I am concerned - weird, but I guess all metal rail systems do behave like that. Figure 1 shows the electrical layout of a 9V LEGO point - as far as I can tell from opening them up to remove the little nasty piece of ABS that makes the points hard to change direction:

lego_switch.jpg

Figure 1: 9V LEGO switch point wiring, straight position. Note a) the permanently powered lines b) in straight the red line is switched, in branch the blue line.

 

Figure 2 shows a simplified section of your layout and illustrates the case 1 scenario, along with the information you gave on the switch box and regulator wiring. (Please excuse my stupid drawings - I am using PowerPoint - this is all I know with regard to drawing stuff electronically). Just in case you have wired the "DD -" line as in the figure (and only then, i.e. blue is wired as shown, i.e. on the "inside" at feed T1, then only the train on yard 1 has power. 

case_1.jpg   

Figure 2: Case 1 - only train in yard A is moving, as it should be. 

 

Figure 3 illustrates your case 2a - both trains are moving although only switch "Yd B" is closed. The thing is (provided wiring is as shown) that yard A gets power through the "DD -" common terminal (blue line) and the permantely powered red line via HC 1 L whereas yard B is powered through the "Yd B" switch and "DD -"

case_2a.jpg

Figure 3: Case 2a - both trains are moving although the "Yd A" is open.

 

Figure 4 illustrates your case 2b. However, this one does not correctly explain the behavior you observed. What should happen is that both trains are moving.

case_2b.jpg

 Figure 4: Case 2b - only yard B is powered although HC 2 is in branch position. Actually both yards should be powered. 

 

I believe you can rather easily take care of these issues (at least for case 2a) by switching both power lines with "2 x on/off" switches "Yd A" and "Yd B". Of course you'd need to do additional wiring ...

 

With regard to 175 level layout - this is a reversing loop, right? The outside power line becomes the inside power line and you may create a short, depending on the S175 feed polarity with respect to further T-type feeds located somewhere else (???).

Finally, things may even become more confusing when changing directions on the regulator. As far as I remember, the dial hardware (the "coded" copper conductors of the dial and the copper conductors on the printed circuit board) of the regulator actually reverses the entire power ("+" becomes "-" and vice versa). In the "stop" position power is completely removed from the outputs (both, "+" and "-"). In this case the common power block changes polarity as well in your setup and depending on the permanently powered lines of the points, this may create further issues.

This is all pure speculation though and as I said, you may have been there already for a long time!

All the best,
Thorsten   

Thank you so much for your tremendous effort to provide clarification re. these  mysterious findings! The ppt drawings are very informative, certainly to me, so you definitely should not appologize...

However, it's me that needs to start appologizing for two findings that came up since I posted my latest reply:

The scheme on level 85 turned out not to be the final one. There has been a minor change on the layout (which doesn't make any difference w.r.t. the case results). HC 2 in fact is a standard point left.

However, I discovered to my surprise that one of the rails on HC 1 leading to the yards was disconnected!  After fixing this issue, the result for case 2b turned out to be different and was in line with your own expected result: both trains were moving!

 

Then I tested case 2c - operate train on yard B:

Point configuration:  HC 1: straight, P 2: straight

Power feed configuration: yard A:  off, yard B:  on

Result:  only train B is moving! (Studying your drawings, this makes actually sense)

38078989285_3306c07340_c.jpg

 

So where do I go from here? Since I know the required configurations to operate trains from yard A and B to and from the mainline, I will certainly not get into additional wiring.... (Another important section in the future documentation ...)

W.r.t. the issues on siding 175 and the yards on level 50, I guess I would have to do additional wiring to get these problems solved. However, this is simply too much work and not worth the effort. Power supply for siding 175 and the yards/main line on level 50 is good enough even without these additional power feeds.

 

The siding on level 175 is not a reversing loop but a shortcut. Trains running uphill on the vertical climb can take the siding and return downhill. This is part of the layout segmentation concept that I have mentionned before. So outside power lines remain outside and inside power lines remain inside. No risk for short circuits.

38080262355_6f8b32e7db_c.jpg

 

Referring to your final comment, I must admit that I didn't get your point. I believed - and still do - that I have a rather good knowledge and understanding on how the 9V speed regulator works. So I was rather surprised to read about your own thoughts w.r.t. changed polarities (something I have not experienced on my layout):

"Finally, things may even become more confusing when changing directions on the regulator. As far as I remember, the dial hardware (the "coded" copper conductors of the dial and the copper conductors on the printed circuit board) of the regulator actually reverses the entire power ("+" becomes "-" and vice versa). In the "stop" position power is completely removed from the outputs (both, "+" and "-"). In this case the common power block changes polarity as well in your setup and depending on the permanently powered lines of the points, this may create further issues."

 

To conclude: once again, thank you so much @Toastiefor your efforts and clarifications! You certainly succeeded in shedding some light into the mysterious things that happened!

 

Edited by Haddock51

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Haddock51 said:

Thank you so much for your tremendous effort to provide clarification re. these  mysterious findings! The ppt drawings are very informative, certainly to me, so you definitely should not appologize...

However, it's me that needs to start appologizing for two findings that came up since I posted my latest reply:

The scheme on level 85 turned out not to be the final one. There has been a minor change on the layout (which doesn't make any difference w.r.t. the case results). HC 2 in fact is a standard point left.

However, I discovered to my surprise that the "minus" rail on HC 1 leading to the yards was disconnected!  After fixing this issue, the result for case 2b turned out to be different and was in line with your own expected result: both trains were moving!

Please notice that the polarization on the layout is converse compared to your drawings, i.e. your blue lines should be red and vice versa.

 

Then I tested Case 2c - operate train on yard B:

Point configuration:  HC 1: straight, P 2: straight

Power feed configuration: yard A:  off, yard B:  on

Result:  only train B is moving! (Studying your drawings, this makes actually sense)

38078989285_3306c07340_c.jpg

 

So where do I go from here? Since I know the required configurations to operate trains from yard A and B to and from the mainline, I will certainly not get into additional wiring.... (Another important section in the future documentation ...)

The siding on level 175 is not a reversing loop but a short cut. Trains running uphill on the vertical climb can take the siding and return downhill. So outside power lines remain outside and inside power lines remain inside. No risk for shortage. 

38080262355_6f8b32e7db_c.jpg

 

Referring to your final comment, I must admit that I didn't get your point. I believed - and still do - that I have a rather good knowledge and understanding on how the 9V speed regulator works. So I was rather surprised to read about your own thoughts w.r.t. changed polarities (something I have not experienced on my layout):

"Finally, things may even become more confusing when changing directions on the regulator. As far as I remember, the dial hardware (the "coded" copper conductors of the dial and the copper conductors on the printed circuit board) of the regulator actually reverses the entire power ("+" becomes "-" and vice versa). In the "stop" position power is completely removed from the outputs (both, "+" and "-"). In this case the common power block changes polarity as well in your setup and depending on the permanently powered lines of the points, this may create further issues."

 

To conclude: once again, thank you so much @Toastie for your efforts and clarifications! You certainly succeeded in shedding some light into the mysterious things that happened!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am sorry that my final comment was unclear.

All I am trying to say is, that there is no "fixed 0 V potential", or reference potential, as you know. When I was tinkering with the regulator I actually thought there is a "ground" or "0 V" fixed terminal and the other goes from -9 via 0 to +9V (I had hoped to read the voltage in a simple setup with an RCX input). But of course no, way too expensive: The electronic ground of the regulator circuit is simply flipped around when going from forward to reverse - in the drawings above, blue becomes red and vice versa. That is all!

Best regards,
Thorsten   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎2017‎-‎12‎-‎10 at 5:04 PM, Toastie said:

 

lego_switch.jpg

Figure 1: 9V LEGO switch point wiring, straight position. Note a) the permanently powered lines b) in straight the red line is switched, in branch the blue line.

 

 

I assume that other 9V train fans like me have experienced similar problems like those described above when building layouts with multiple points in row, e.g. on rail yards. The rather primitive description provided by LEGO of how powering with standard points works is indeed of very little help in such cases.

I still find your schemes very informative and suggest that you make them available (including power feed(s) mounted on yard(s)) - maybe with a more generic approach, i.e. without the complexity of my layout - in a separate thread.

Edited by Haddock51

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you very much for your kind words.

And I see what you mean by "not worth the effort" of additional wiring: With HC 1 in straight position, the yard can be operated properly! Very nice. So you scheme works very well upon paying attention to this little "extra".

I don't know about opening a separate thread though - I guess the professional folks around here may have discussed that already somewhere buried in the endless pages of TrainTech. I did not search for that and felt safe, because my reply was relating to your specific - and for me very interesting and challenging - question. A new thread always means: I have something new. And who knows ...

Good luck with your documentation. I always find it at least as hard to properly document complex things as to actually come up with such ideas. I guess creating and putting together something like this is an entirely different brain activity than documenting in a way that all still make sense after some time. Maybe after years. And it is so boring ... but I agree: Absolutely necessary.

All the best and again thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures, movies and background information. And congratulations that you made it into public TV!!!

Thorsten  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might want to try adding an insulator on one or both rails at the start of a siding so that NO current can pass through from the adjacent section and then only provide a closed circuit to siding using your control panel. When I last tried insulating track like this, I used a piece of clear packing tape folded over and wedged in between the rail contacts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, zephyr1934 said:

You might want to try adding an insulator on one or both rails at the start of a siding so that NO current can pass through from the adjacent section and then only provide a closed circuit to siding using your control panel. When I last tried insulating track like this, I used a piece of clear packing tape folded over and wedged in between the rail contacts.

That's a creative idea indeed.

If some of my fundamentalistic Lego train colleagues were to learn about this non-Lego approach, they might get upset again (most of them still have not forgotten the drilled round windows on the two RC locomotives on the blue Uppsala - Stockholm commuter train...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Toastie said:

Good luck with your documentation. I always find it at least as hard to properly document complex things as to actually come up with such ideas. I guess creating and putting together something like this is an entirely different brain activity than documenting in a way that all still make sense after some time. Maybe after years. And it is so boring ... but I agree: Absolutely necessary.

There is obviously a risk that you pretty soon start forgetting about construction- and installation details, not to mention all the wiring .... So yes, documentation in this case is a must.

I have also mad it clear that anybody interested in operating trains on this layout (including my adult doughters and brother in law)  will have to take a "driving license" - with the mentionned documentation as study material - before even touching the speed regulators ...

Edited by Haddock51

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎2017‎-‎12‎-‎12 at 9:42 PM, Toastie said:

And congratulations that you made it into public TV!!!

This is a link to the local news on Swedish Television on 5th of December, unfortunately without English subtitles ...

Below, you find a translation of the conversation between the reporter and myself:

 

Translation:

News presenter:  A railtrack is hidden in Knivsta - and it's one of the world's longest!

Reporter:

- During vinter time, travelling by train can be a difficult experience for many travelers, with delays and canceled trains. However, there is a train station in Knivsta where trains always go on time, and that's Knivsta South (doesn't exist in reality, my comment)

Myself:

- This is about realizing dreams and ideas, to work hands on and not electronically.

Reporter: 

- Daniels train layout has a track lenghth of more than 100 meters with more than 30 different trains taking travelers up to the Swiss mountains.

Myself: 

- I was born and grew up in Switzerland. I loved trains already as a child and often visited the railway station in Basel. This love for trains has followed me all my life. Model trains came much later. When our doughters grew up, there was more and more of Lego - and Lego layouts. And then Lego launched the 9V train system in the beginning of the 90s.

- This layout goes back to february 2011 when the idea came up for the first time. Initially, this was mostly about planning and testing. Construction started in early 2014. So to build this layout has taken more than 3 years.

- To me, this is a big hobby. To work with this kind of challenges is something I find incredibly stimulating.

Edited by Haddock51

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/13/2017 at 4:17 AM, Haddock51 said:

That's a creative idea indeed.

If some of my fundamentalistic Lego train colleagues were to learn about this non-Lego approach, they might get upset again (most of them still have not forgotten the drilled round windows on the two RC locomotives on the blue Uppsala - Stockholm commuter train...)

Well, if you used lego bags or the edges from around lego stickers for the insulators then it would all be lego (grin)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎2017‎-‎12‎-‎24 at 4:51 PM, zephyr1934 said:

Well, if you used lego bags or the edges from around lego stickers for the insulators then it would all be lego (grin)

You and me seem to share creative - and solution oriented - mindsets.

Lego? Yes, what do you want it to be .....?

I am still proud of the protection nets on top of the iron ore wagons (to prevent "iron ore pieces" from spreading around all over the room) - made of fishnet stockings! Probably as far away from Lego as it gets - but it works! So it's got to be Lego as well ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

39193546414_2de50649a4_c.jpg

 

A new year - and more news.

51 train shelves with a total length of 81 meters (636 straight) are now mounted!

Almost all my trains and train sections are packed up and set on shelves or the layout. This is actually the first time I can watch most of my trains at the same time. Quite a feeling ...

More details and pictures in the first entry of this thread (see Technical details and Addendum #2A)

Edited by Haddock51

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice "shelfie" photos !! ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. What a collection. Made me drop my jaw. Awesome presentation too, nice shelves! :thumbup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Astonishing trains, astonishing track, astonishing electric work  - it is really something to be proud of :sweet:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Phase 1 of project "Lego Train 9V Extreme" is now finalized.

Next on my agenda are more films and extensive documentation work. Not so much fun but absolutely necessary.

Planning for Phase 2 has started. However, actual work will not start until after summer. Meanwhile, I might catch building my first Swiss train.

Ever since this project started, several people in Sweden and abroad have expressed interest in seeing this layout IRL. If you are planning to visit Sweden and would like to drop by, please let me know. Even though we spend most of the summer at our summer place, it should be possible to find suitable dates - and admission is free ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.